Watch Lewis Capaldi's new video for his song Pointless that tells Rob and Charlotte Allen's moving and inspirational story.
We're so very grateful to Lewis and his team at EMI for wanting to share the story behind Sands United and helping more people find out about our work saving babies' lives and supporting bereaved families like Rob and Charlotte's.
Since Rob set up that first team in Northampton, Sands United has grown to become a unique way for dads and other bereaved men to come together through a mutual love of sport. Each team provides its members with peer support, and a safe space to talk about their grief if and when they're ready.
"When our baby Niamh died our world fell apart. I really struggled to find the words to talk about how I was feeling, and I now know that I'm not alone in feeling this isolation. Few experiences can compare to the trauma and pain of losing a baby. Many people don't get the support they need or even know that there is support out there.
"Setting up the first Sands United FC was a lifeline for me, and it has now helped hundreds of other men affected by pregnancy or baby loss. From the moment we put on our shirts and step out onto the pitch with our babies' names over our hearts, every Sands United member knows they are understood and that everyone in that team is there to support them.
"I can't say a big enough thank you to Lewis Capaldi for gifting us this opportunity to share our family's story and show how Sands will continue to help so many bereaved people to survive. All our babies are always loved and never forgotten. Life after loss can sometimes feel pointless but I want anyone touched by this grief to know there is also hope."
- Rob Allen, Sands United founder and Patron
Why Sands matters
Did you know, every day in the UK, 13 families suffer the heartbreak of losing their baby before, during or shortly after birth, and an estimated 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. These losses are lifechanging and affect thousands of families each year and that's why our work is so vital.
We are determined to save every life we can, and we will make sure the right care and support is there for every bereaved family, whenever and wherever they need it.
Sands is working to improve maternity safety through targeted research, campaigning for change, working with government and reducing inequalities in healthcare to save babies' lives.
Support for you
We know that talking about pregnancy and baby loss isn’t easy and that watching Rob and Charlotte’s story might have been difficult for you, especially if you’re a bereaved parent or family member or know someone who is.
You are not alone. When someone loses a baby, it can be an isolating, devastating and life-changing experience. That’s why the Sands community is so important – to support families through their loss and help them grow around their grief.
Sands is here for you and anyone who needs bereavement support resources from for anyone affected by pregnancy loss or the death of a baby.
If you, or someone you know, needs emotional support after loss, find out all the different ways we offer this.
More than 35 teams have been set up by local volunteers across the UK since 2018. If Rob and Charlotte’s story has inspired you, find out more about Sands United. We are always looking for new people to help out at their local team or to set up more teams in their area.
And if Rob's story has inspired you to set up a Sands United team you can apply to do this now.
How you can help
Sands and Sands United FC only exist through the generosity of our supporters who ensure we are always there for anyone affected by pregnancy and baby loss.